“The Rule Of Thirds”
By: Marc Henderson – MBP staff photographer .
Yep..the rule of thirds. It’s a very easy to apply compositional technique that’ll add to the quality of your photos!
Let’s say there’s a nice flower that you want a picture of or maybe one of your dog in the backyard?
That’s great, you have your subject. Now, divide the viewfinder into imaginary lines of thirds – horizontally and, or vertically or both. You know, like a grid.
A lot of cameras have a grid option that you can activate to make this easier. Now, just place the center of your subject on or around the imaginary or actual grid line.
Sometimes when you do this, you’ll find that you may have to move around some to make everything fit in the photo.
Ok, here’s the magic of the Rule Of Thirds. Depending on the area surrounding your subject, you can add a great deal of dynamics to your photo. Telling a bit of a story, in a photo, with your subject or just adding some “breathing room” to a photo can be very powerful as well.
Here’s some examples.
(Click on the photo for a larger size.)
Here’s a sign without and with grid lines. Notice how the sign is placed in the entire left third of the photo and the birds are in the lower right third with the beautiful blue sky as a background with the clouds in the right side third area.
Let’s say you like the golf cart that you have for the day while out on the course. Ok..take a picture of the golf cart. Ah, then you notice the clubhouse in the background. Just back up a some and aim up and to the right, and you’ve added another element to your photo while keeping the golf cart prominent. More than just a golf cart photo now, huh?
A direction sign among the shrubs on the cart path at the golf course. Now, just backup a bit and move the camera to the left to add the cart path and more of the shrub. See? That’s adding more related elements to make a more pleasing and interesting photo.
Whether you’re shooting horizontally or vertically, keep the Rule Of Thirds in mind the next time you’re taking pictures.
Give it a try and keep experimenting!
By: Marc Henderson – MBP Staff Photographer.
We’ve all seen and taken blurry photos, some are from being out of focus, but I’d bet that most were from camera shake. Camera shake comes from having a too slow a shutter speed, for the conditions, to make a sharp exposure.
When there’s plenty of light, like on a sunny day, camera shake doesn’t happen that often, but when it’s overcast or the photo that you want to take is in a very shady spot or even indoors, then camera shake can be a bit of a problem
We could attach our cameras to a tripod every time we take a picture, but who wants to do that? You can also activate the flash, but that’s not always appropriate in how you might want to capture the image.
My general rule of thumb, in natural light with a handheld camera, is hold the camera firmly and steady.
When I say firmly, I not just talking about holding the camera with a firm grip, but also bracing your arms against your body, your head making contact with the camera as you compose the photo through your viewfinder. Also, keep your left hand under the camera with the lens being supported with the part of your hand between the thumb and fingers.
You can see what I’m talking about in these two photos. In the first example, you can see the fella just standing there with the camera at his face. His elbows are out, face is not against the camera and his feet are side by side.
In second photo, his arms are firmly against his body, face is against the camera and his right foot is behind his left.
Ah..See what I’m getting at? Just those few actions can really steady things and help you get that sharp photo that you’re wanting.
This kind of stuff will become second nature after a while.
Till next time…
“All Charged Up”
By: Marc Henderson – MBP staff photographer.
All our modern cameras need batteries…duh, Marc. heh.
Yes’em, I’m here to talk a bit about batteries today. Some of it you might have already have known and some you might not have known.
First of all, treat your batteries with a little respect and kindness and you’ll will probably not miss those snapshots that you’ve wanted to get and more importantly, the ones you weren’t expecting!
Here’s some tips: I recommend nickel-metal hydride rechargeable batteries above the rest. They’re cheap, easy to acquire and with a little care, will last quite a long time. They will pay for themselves many times over alkalines.
If you use your flash often, especially a hot shoe mounted flash, alkalines will get hot and become a bit inefficient as well not being very “Green”.
In the photo below, I have a couple of nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) AA batteries. If you notice on the label, there are numbers followed by mAh. That stands for milliamps per hour. That’s how much current can flow from the battery under demand.
Think about it like this, your kitchen faucet will allow less water to flow when it’s not all the way open and more when it is. A 2000 mAh battery will allow more current flow than a 1800 mAh. What does that mean? Well, if you are using your flash often, the flash has to build up a bit of power from your batteries. A lower mAh number can make you wait a little longer, especially when you need more light produced by the flash! How many times have you or someone else have been taking pictures and the flash didn’t go off? Yep..you might just have lost a bit of the moment and the shot itself!
Also, if you camera uses AA batteries for the camera operation and the built in flash, that can hold things up even more so. The next time you’re battery shopping, try to buy higher mAh rated batteries. AA rechargeables range from 1300 – 2900 mAh.
Another tip is recharging. Try to run your batteries down before you put them in your charger. I recommend not using a rapid charger because the rapid chargers substantially degrade and shorten the batteries’ useable life. The regular “overnight” chargers usually hold more batteries and some even can accommodate AAA and other sizes .
Buy a couple of sets of rechargeables batteries. When one set runs down, you’ll have the second set ready to go. That goes for the specific batteries that a lot of cameras and equipment use besides just AAs.
Getting back to alkalines for a minute. I think it’s a good idea to get a new pack of AA batteries and put them in you camera bag or glove compartment in your car…just in case, to use in a pinch.
An additional note here. The battery in the photo that reads “15 minute rechargeable”, I slow charge those as well. I suspect that’s a bit of marketing there. heh. From my experience, those “15 minute” NiMH batteries seem to degrade and wear out as fast over their lifetime just like regular NiMH batteries often do when constantly recharged with a quick charger.
I geeked out today, huh? heh.
’til next time.
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I am going to start this post very irritated. There is a cell phone company that has a commercial that makes erasing unwanted subjects and objects from an image look like magic. In case you have not seen it, a family member is sitting in an audience and watching a graduation ceremony. Someone jumps in front of the graduate and the person taking the picture says no problem, I will just erase it and like magic the person who jumped in front of the graduate is gone. Well first of all that is absurd. If you take one image and someone jumps in front of the subject, that photo is one dimensional so there would not be a graduate behind the person jumping in front. What the cell phone company does not show you is that you have to take several images of the same pose in order for this to work. Firstly, what would be the point if you had other images of that exact pose. If there was only one image of the graduate receiving the diploma and someone jumped in front of that image, there is no way to have an image of the graduate receiving the diploma.
I pay professional graphic artists to remove people from family portraits all summer season. This commercial makes their job seem easy and makes it look like anyone can do this. This is simply not true. It take professionals hours to to this correctly and commercials like this trick the public into thinking it is automatic.
I just want the public to know that these functions are not what they seem. When you see your proofs and there are lots of unwanted objects in your image, Our professional graphic artists are not just clicking a button to remove them. They work very hard and use their professional skills turn your raw image into your perfect family portrait
Now my rant for the day is done.
Here is a video that shows exactly how this works: